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Does Lice Shield Shampoo Really Work?

Posted Aug 13 2012 2:01am

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Rozy asks…How does Lice Shield shampoo prevent head lice?

The Left Brain responds:

To be honest, I was extremely skeptical when I first saw this stuff. But it looks like it might actually have a chance of working. Here’s why.

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco Glucoside, Cymbopobon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Glyceryl Oleate, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus) Leaf Oil, Fragrance, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Carbomer, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben

This is a pretty standard shampoo base with no sign of any drug ingredients that one would expect to see in a lice shampoo. There are a couple of botanical extracts , most notably citronella, which are typically used as “window dressing” in haircare formulations.

In this particular case, though,  it looks like the citronella may actually be doing something. I found this study from the Department of Parasitology, Hebrew University Medical School,which evaluated the efficacy of a slow-release citronella formulation as a lice repellent. According to the researchers, there were significant differences between those treated with the repellent and those treated with the placebo.

Of course this single study doesn’t necessarily mean that the Lice Shield product will work. For one reason, there’s no way of knowing if the citronella in this product will be delivered to the hair the same way that the “slow-release technology” used in the study works. For another, we don’t even know if they’re using the same concentration of citronella. But if you’re worried about lice infestation there is some basic science here to indicate this product may be worth trying.

Image credit: http://www.rudecactus.com

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